09 December 2008

More from the beach

More cute Little Dude pictures from the beach.
Love how this first one shows off his dimple!

And yes, he did eat sand.
Great shot of the mohawk & du-rag!

One day, Little Dude will be BIGGER than the Daddy. And perhaps, father & son will play sand volleyball together...
By sunset, Little Dude was ready to brave the waves. For some reason, he was not too keen on the water this time.

Baby Signs

We've been using baby signs with Taison from the beginning. We do not sign everything, but there are a handful of random everyday words that we do sign for him on a not-so-regular basis. Trinhity didn't really pick up signing until she was about 11 months old... and then things just took off. So we've not been too intense with the signing. But things are about to change...

A few weeks ago, the Mama went to get Taison after he woke up from his nap. Sometimes he wakes up happy & cooing and sometimes... not so happy. This time was one of the latter instances. Mama always greets him and talks to him and says mama bế (mama hold you). The Mama has always, from day one, signed this by clapping twice and holding out her hands to him. This time, when the Mama greeted him, and said mama bế, he stopped crying, looked up, and clapped his hands!! Wow! Yay! He has done this consistently and we are confident that this sign has "stuck".

The interesting thing is that his second sign is one that he made up. He has been opening & closing his hands (the usual baby sign for 'milk') and either pointing to objects or taking our hands and moving them towards something. Bàbà was the first to recognize that he was signing. She thought that he meant "more". But as we observed him and interacted with him, we have come to the conclusion that he is trying to communicate "want".

We knew he was a good communicator... but now, he is initiating signing with us. How cool is that?

04 December 2008

First Steps

Today. Today, Taison took his first steps.

We've been practicing for a while. He's pretty stable on his feet and he loves to be finger walked... demands it actually. But he has been hesitant to try to walk on his own. You can see it in his eyes. We usually place him at arm's length, hold our arms out to him, and tell him to come to us. He looks. He smiles a big smile, the kind with the twinkle in eyes. And then he lunges into our arms. His feet usually doesn't move. But he lunges with all his weight and all he's worth into our arms and laughs. He understands the game and what we are trying to do. This morning, he looked into my eyes and then took one, two, three steps into my arms. We repeated this several times, with hugs, hoorays, and hand-claps at the end.

Now. Now, the fun will begin... as well as the real work.

01 December 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

The very much belated pumpkin patch photos. They are a bit late, but they were just too sweet to not post. We have our own special little pumpkin patch that we have been going to for the past two years: TGRExotics. If it is up to the parentals, this place will be an annual fall tradition since we just love it. We hope the kids do not outgrow this place too soon. We went twice this year. The first time with some neighbors, and the second time with Bàbà.

They have all sorts of pumpkins... the good eatin' kind!

...the good playing with kind...

...and the good taking pictures with kind.

But what makes this place unique is the animals. Little Dude got to pet baby kangaroos & pot bellied pigs.

His favorite by far was the coatimundi, a Latin American raccoon. He wanted so desperately to crawl into the cage with his new furry friend!

Last but not least, the nap shots. We take lots of naps. The best place to nap is on top of the Daddy, of course!

IAH & Continental

At IAH on Friday, November 21, 2008 at approximately 11AM.
I came. I waited. I entertained the masses.

On the flight to Cancun I was a "lap child". In the old days, that meant I got a free ride. But times have changed. People have changed. It is a tough world out there and it is best to learn at a young age that there are no free rides, no free meals.
Everyone pays.
My ticket for the 2hr flight from Houston to Cancun? $250.

The parentals timed the flights around our nap schedules and I did eventually sleep. But only after a 20 minute screaming session. The Daddy walked me. The Mama ended up nursing me... while standing... in the galley during the meal service. After I spat up all over her shirt. Gotta love the Mama.

¡Ay, caramba Cancun!

For those of us not fluent in Spanish, the definition of ay caramba from Wikipedia:
Ay, caramba! (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈai kaˈɾamba]) comes from the Spanish interjection ¡ay! (denoting surprise or pain) and caramba (a minced oath, a euphemism for carajo), which is an exclamation of disgust or surprise in Latin American Spanish
And in English, that meant that the parentals had a really tough time in Cancun. Why? Well... because of me... more specifically, because of these:

Teeth. Yup. I had a horrid week of teething in Cancun. Despite being doped up on Tylenol, I was up several times a night screaming. I went to bed most nights at 6PM and woke up at 5:30AM with a few screaming sessions in between. So the Mama had dinner via room service for 4 nights while the Daddy got the pleasure of catching the sunrise the entire week.

Thank goodness I am so darn CUTE and smart enough to know it. The parentals were hurting pretty badly last week and this weekend but I think they will forgive me.

On a serious note, we learned a valuable lesson here... never, NEVER vacation with TWO young kids who are sleeping on different schedules. It was a really rough week and we are exhausted. But it was fabulous to see Uncle Scott & Aunt Tina as well as all the Clark cousins... they know how to vacation in style. Between the screaming fits & sleep deprivation, we ate like princes and enjoyed the luxury of a gorgeous resort, the Moon Palace Grand. And we got a couple of great shots of the little Crumbly on the beach as well.

more pix & blogging to come. soon. really.

oh, and there are still pumpkin patch pictures in the the draft folder that need to be posted... [sigh]

i love my mama

El Mojito

Posted by Picasa

21 November 2008

Mug Shot

Valid for 5 years...

This is my passport mug shot.

We are using it today. I am going on my first international flight at the age of just under 10mos. Where are we going?? Cancun baby.... I can taste the Mojitos already... well, sort of...
Posted by Picasa

19 November 2008

Yes, He Can

Can a very small child and a pumpkin send a message of hope to millions around the world?

Oh yes...

Yes, he can.

15 November 2008

Tapping Out

I've been putting Little Man to sleep not quite every night for a few months now, but close. As with his big sister, our routine usually involves music. Techno works, so do cello pieces, and he seems to have a higher tolerance for my fiddle stuff than either of the girls.

He's incredibly communicative, possibly more interactive than she was as this age. The other day when we were playing high-five hand games as we walked to the mailbox, he took my hand and put it solidly on his head. Once he got it there, he positioned it exactly the way he wanted it, then turned to me and completely cracked up. Then he did it three more times, almost the same way.

Sometimes when I'm rocking him to sleep, I'll tap the time on my chest. He likes that. Sometimes he taps too, but just in the last two days he's taken to, when I stop, finding my hand and moving it to my chest, then working with all his little strength to pull it away and slap it back. It's amazing how clearly he makes his wishes known.

So tonight we were rocking out to Ricky Martin's "Cup of Life" (hey, it's got a groove), but he wasn't settling. Finally, I asked him, "Do you want Daddy to sing to you?" He looked up, made eye contact in the dim light, then snuggled in more closely and sighed.

I turned off the stereo.

He snuggled in and yawned. I started into "Hard Times Come Again No More", a favorite Stephen Foster tune. He stretched, sighed, yawned, pushed his ear against my chest, and gently nodded off. He was snoring by the third verse.

Some nights....some nights it's ever so good to be the Daddy.

05 November 2008

ông bà

Not sure how we missed posting this picture, but we did. Here is ông bà with the kiddos in Galvestion in September.
Posted by Picasa

03 November 2008

Little Crumb

This is his new nickname... dubbed by the Big Sis. She has recently started calling him "Little Crumb" or "Little Crumbly". When we asked why she called him this her reply was, "Look at him! He's little. Like a crumb!" Ha! So when we asked what is a crumbly? Her response was, "It's a little crumb that rolls around on the floor!!"

Snaps, Claps, & Head Conks

About a month ago Taison started to snap his fingers. Really. He puts his middle finger to his thumb and makes a little baby snap, flick, pop kinda noise. We were amazed. We aren't even sure that Trinhity has the hand strength to make an audible snap... how cool is that?

After he mastered snapping his fingers, he decided to start clapping. He doesn't do it often. And when he claps, he usually does it with his fists and not his palms. But we count it. So we can now add clapping to his repertoire.

He also enjoys head butting.. or head conking as we call it in our house. He smiles when we tell him to conk heads (in Vietnamese) and then brings his head gently to yours.

He still doesn't get the "hands up" game. He just smiles at everyone when we tell him to put his hands up. I guess he thinks it's funny that everyone has their hands in the air.

As it seems, little man is like Daddy... tackling the most complicated skills first...

02 November 2008

Funny Faces

These are from an October bathing session. Taison doesn't really make all the funny faces that Trinhity did as a baby. He is more into noises. But every now and then...